How to Create a Buyer Journey Map: A Complete Guide
A buyer journey map is the right way to improve user experience without much effort. It acts like a blueprint to understand what conflicts, conversations, and comparisons a lead goes through before making the final purchase decision.
According to research, B2B buyers are generally 57% of the way toward purchasing a service before actively engaging with sales. It implies marketing plays a vital role in pushing a brand’s customer acquisition.
A promotional campaign planned according to the potential customer’s concerns like price, quality, and competitors make leads’ sales cycle simpler and shorter. Buyers’ journey maps help brands be ready to solve any customer query or issue with the utmost efficiency.
Marketers must aim to develop a buyer’s journey from tested data. It should not get hindered by assumptions or gut feelings. Otherwise, it might affect the overall sales pipeline.
But how to create a data-driven buyer journey map?
In this blog, I will share a step-wise technique that any business can use to create a buyer journey map successfully.
Let’s start by understanding the topic in focus.
What is a Buyer Journey Map?
Statistics show that 80% of customers consider the quality of interactions with a company as crucial as its product or service quality. A buyer journey map is a proactive approach to understanding what goes on in a customer’s mind throughout the sales process.
It is a visual representation of the many touchpoints and exchanges a lead can have with a brand before becoming a client. Such a map demonstrates the fields that affect prospects’ actions and decisions.
Though a sales funnel only has four stages: awareness, consideration, decision, and retention, all leads do not follow the same path to purchase.
For example, while some leads can arrive at a landing page through SERP, other prospects can get redirected from social media. A buyer journey map helps identify channels that bring in leads. It becomes easier to optimise the sales cycle for better interactions and conversion rates.
Importance of a Buyer Journey map
Unorganised marketing efforts might fetch brands some leads but fail to generate a dependable sales pipeline. How will a customer interact with a web page or offer? What are the different steps leads can take that move them closer to becoming a client? What will be the customer queries at every touchpoint? A buyer journey map answers all such questions. It helps predict various purchase paths a prospect can take.
Be it B2C or B2B, a customer’s journey is complex. A B2C purchase is short but involves emotions at every step. In contrast, a B2B sales cycles are long as it involves many stakeholders in the decision-making process. Buyer journey maps help proactively understand what the lead would love to see at every sales funnel stage.
According to reports, 99% of marketers say personalisation helps advance customer-brand relationships. But 78% say they struggle with not having quick data about their customers to launch swift, personalised campaigns.
Such personalisation problems are also solved with the help of data-driven buyer journey maps. Customer data collected from various resources and then organised to create a buyers’ journey assists in creating optimised and personalised campaigns for the target consumers.
Now let’s understand how we can create data-driven journeys.
How to Create a Buyer Journey Map
A thing to remember while creating a buyer journey map is though it is specific to a buyer’s persona, it will not be linear and can crossover with other personas. It might sound messy. Brands use excel sheets, mindmaps, boards, infographics, etc., to create clear visual journeys.
Phase 1: Research
Extensive research is key to understanding everything about a brand’s marketing. It heavily involves data research about paying customers, site visitors, etc., to figure out what attracted the paying clients in the first place to a company’s services. Some of the best ways to collect such data are:
- Going through the existing database
The existing database contains information about all the valuable touchpoints a lead can have before becoming a customer. The info reveals what channels and content a buyer’s persona prefers.
- It helps crack the basic pattern users from similar backgrounds might follow in the sales funnel. Though it is true that every prospect will not follow the same path, the database helps create a rough image of the possibilities and allows brands to be prepared with optimised campaigns.
- Organising surveys
Brands can also organise surveys and get real-time information about the good and bad of their marketing strategies. The survey can have simple questions regarding the brand and its services, which is crucial for creating a buyer journey map. For example, the questions can be:
- What type of content does the customer prefer?
- How did they come to know about the brand?
- If they have made any purchases, what was the deciding factor?
- On a scale of 1-10, how was their brand experience?
- Analysing heatmaps
Heatmaps are an excellent way to gain visual insights into how users interact with a brand’s digital assets. It has many options like session recordings, scroll maps, click maps, etc., that showcase where the user clicked the most, scroll depth, and much more.
- If you want to know more about heatmaps, check out this blog:
Heatmap for UX: Your Complete Guide for Better Conversions
- Taking help from the sales team
The salespeople are critical touchpoints in bringing in customers. They have apt information about the consumers’ most crucial and frequently asked questions. Marketers can address such queries through content to make the pitching process easier and the buying journey smoother.
Phase 2: Organising Data
Marketers can have all the data in the world, but without the correct organisation strategy, it will be futile. The management tactic of big or small databases in the marketing sector is consumer-focused. It generally has two aspects, which are:
Attributes refer to the qualities a user has. For example, age, location, salary, job title, etc., all such information comes under the attributes. It helps determine the background of the active audiences that easily connect with a brand’s product or services. Marketers use this info to understand how every segment of consumers gets introduced to their brand.
- Online Behaviour
Questions like: how many times a user visited the service page or blog page, what is their email CTR, etc., all are a part of prospects’ online behaviour. Determining and analysing the elements that make the leads click helps replicate the results.
- By organising the online behaviour of various customers and leads, marketers can create a personalised benchmark system that specifies the average online interactions a user has before becoming a client.
Suggested Read: Things to do Before Setting Up a Lead Nurturing Plan
Phase 3: Mix and Match
After organising and segmenting the consumer data, marketers will be all set to create the final buyer journey map. By keeping a buyer’s persona in mind, mix and match the various datasets that come close to the particular user profile. List out the multiple touchpoints, attributes, online behaviour, pain points, etc., that customers go through during their journey across the sales funnel.
Also, a particular sales funnel stage can have many touchpoints representing negative or positive customer experiences. Keeping all of them on the buyer journey map makes understanding the prospects’ intent easier.
A buyer journey map is a great way to understand how brands can elevate their buying experience. Creating a buyer journey map might be cumbersome, but once established, it can serve as a framework for creating successful personalised campaigns.
Buyer journey maps are data-driven marketing efforts. A brand can push for exponential growth through customer-centric content with the right information and segmentation techniques.
Whether a brand wants to optimise its sales process or search for new opportunities, a buyer journey map assists in discovering hidden customer needs. It becomes easier for companies to build a marketing ecosystem that serves all their audiences.
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